The Aman at Summer Palace Beijing offers modern travelers a glimpse into what life was like for visiting dignitaries and guests of Empress Dowager Cixi at the turn of the 20th century. The traditional Chinese architecture is centered around pavilions and a series of courtyards. Our arrival was spectacular with a signature drink and warm greeting. Upon first entry into the lobby, we knew our stay was going to be unique and memorable (see attached picture). Our room was tucked way in the far back corner of the property--along the shared property line with the Summer Palace and right next to the private and secret door entry for the Aman guests. The room was absolutely gorgeous and the usual Aman welcome gifts were fitting for the location! During our stay, we took advantage of every class and event offered on the property. We especially loved the Chinese calligraphy class and the tea tasting events with live traditional music. The restaurant ingredients and service were top notch, and our breakfast experiences among the water pavilion were serene and quiet.
The only difficulty we experienced at the Aman at Summer Palace was with transportation--both on arrival and during our daily adventures in the surrounding areas. In particular, most taxi drivers have no clue that this hotel exists because from the street there is almost no sign that it is a hotel. Additionally, the taxi drivers are thrown off by the fact that the area does not have other hotels and restaurants--which, depending on your preferences, can be peaceful or boring. With this difficulty in mind, we suggest you definitely take the business card with the hotel address and be prepared. In fact, given our difficulties getting home one night (2 hours spent trying to convince multiple taxi drivers to take us back to the Aman, and ultimately having to have some random hotel manager speak to our driver to get us back), when we return to the Aman in the future we plan to hire a car for the nights that we go out on the city.
Overall, the Aman at Summer Palace Beijing is a remarkable property and an absolute must for those travelers interested in an original experience that is far removed from the chaos of downtown Beijing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just steps from the East Gate of the Summer Palace grounds lies Aman at Summer Palace - the ideal location from which to discover Beijing. Housed in a series of pavilions, the resort is only 15km from the Forbidden City. A serene retreat, the property provides easy access to such cultural landmarks as the Great Wall, The Temple of Heaven and the hutongs, as well as Beijing's restaurants, art galleries and other contemporary delights. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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